COLUMBIA — The longtime supervisor at the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion was one of two people killed in an early morning wreck in Columbia, authorities said Friday.
Chamberlain Branch, 48, was driving a minivan in downtown Columbia at around 12:30 a.m. when he was hit by a car whose driver who was fleeing Cayce police, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
The other driver, 23-year-old Shyborn Belton, was in a stolen car and had crack cocaine and a stolen pistol when he ran a red light at 70 mph before hitting Branch’s minivan and a taxi, Cayce police said.
Branch’s van then hit a building before catching on fire. Both he and Belton died at the scene, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. The taxi driver wasn’t injured, and three passengers in Belton’s car were sent to the hospital.
Chamberlain had supervised the Governor’s Mansion under three administrations. In a statement, Gov. Nikki Haley said her family was heartbroken at his death.
“His smile and laugh were contagious,” Haley said. “He was a very special part of our family, and his gentle soul, good humor, and care will always be treasured memories for each of us.”
The highway patrol is investigating the crash.